Got questions about Monday’s twisty, super-fun, cameo-packed Gossip Girl series finale? Well, we’ve got answers — straight from exec producer Stephanie Savage herself.
I put the interview behind the tag for people who haven’t seen the episode yet, so it’s spoilerfree!! Really good interview though!
TVLINE | When did you decide that Dan would be Gossip Girl?
I don’t think we ever had another choice in our mind. It was always just a question of were we going to reveal it or not to reveal it. It was unclear if knowing Gossip Girl’s identity was something fans would want. Maybe it was more fun for everyone to not know who Gossip Girl was and be able to speculate and come up with your own ideas.
TVLINE | It’s no surprise that fans are now combing through six years of episodes looking for inconsistencies — like scenes where Dan was alone reading Gossip Girl’s blasts and looking surprised. How do you account for that stuff?
We didn’t want to lean in too heavily to that idea. It was nothing that we talked to the actors about. It was nothing that we wanted to be part of Penn Badgely’s performance as Dan. Or something that we wanted viewers to be actively thinking about. We were hoping to have a nice long run and we didn’t want people to be preoccupied by the question of, “Who is Gossip Girl?” So we held reins loosely and didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that one of our main characters might actually be Gossip Girl.
TVLINE | Are you then sort of asking viewers to take a leap of faith with you on this, acknowledging that all of the pieces to the puzzle might not fit?
Um… no. [Laughs] I don’t think I’m asking that.
TVLINE | Nate ended up single — why?
Well, he’s single for now. The Nate story we wanted to tell was that Dan allowed him to break the Gossip Girl story, which helped jumpstart The Spectator. And to see Nate at a place in the future where he was successful and focused on work. He didn’t have any crazy partners or distracting girlfriends. We’re seeing him come into his own as a young man and a real player in the New York scene.
TVLINE | What was the significance of Chuck and Blair naming their child Henry?
That was what Chuck renamed himself when he was shot.
TVLINE | Why was it important for you to show that Chuck and Blair had become parents?
It seemed like the ultimate coming together of their union and their future. And wanting to see that Chuck and Blair could both be good parents… See the joy that that little boy brings to his grandparents. And you got to see a little mini-Chuck in a bowtie.
TVLINE | Did you ever consider putting Dan and Blair together in the future?
Um… nope! [Laughs]
TVLINE | So it was always going to be Chuck and Blair?
I don’t know about always, but certainly by the end of last season when we were writing our Season 5 finale. We had a sense of what the endgame of the characters were going to be. We knew what we were writing to in Season 6.
TVLINE | A lot of people were surprised that Rufus and Lily didn’t reunite. Talk to me about that decision.
Obviously, Rufus and Lily together complicates the Serena and Dan dynamic. But more importantly, we felt that Rufus and Lily gave it a real college try. But after CeCe died, it was just too hard for Lily to meet Rufus in the middle. She tried to make it work with Bart Bass, and he was a little bit — or a lot — too dark. And psychotic. Dr. Van der Woodsen kind of split the difference. He’s going to let Lily drink all the gin in her teacup that she wants and not really question any of her choices like Rufus might. He’s the father of her children. So that felt like a fun, slightly twisted way to end out Lily’s romantic story. And I think it was very important that we saw that Rufus and Lily still have a very strong and loving connection with each other. And they’ll always be bonded by the relationship between their children.
TVLINE | The Lisa Loeb cameo was a fun surprise — how did that come about?
[Laughs] We didn’t want Rufus to be alone! And he has been spending a lot of time recently with Lisa Loeb. He really enjoyed his hormone-free Thanksgiving concert that he went to. And so that just felt like a nice way to give him someone who was from his world. At the end of the day, Rufus is probably most true to who he was of all the characters.
TVLINE | The Kristen Bell/Rachel Bilson sequence — how did the idea come about for that? They didn’t merely check their phones — they performed a whole comedic bit.
Once we felt certain that we could do Rachel and Kristen together, it seemed like you wanted to build more for them than just having them look at their phones. If you’re going to have those two ladies together in a scene then we wanted to have fun and play to their strengths. So Josh Schwartz and I came up with the whole idea… Having Kristen on the show was very, very special. To be able to have her onscreen for the finale was great. And to have Rachel do it with her was just the icing on the cake.
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